After discussing what watchful workplace prayer looks like in Part 1, I want to offer some verses and commentary when specific situations are encountered. For those who missed my introductory post, the goal of this series is two-fold:
- To equip and default us towards God’s Word during stretching circumstances.
- To help us hide God’s Word in our hearts so we’ll abide in His Word in our interactions.
Again, we’ll explore different vocational components as time goes on. For now, let’s start with how we can encourage saints at work and how we can endure when dealing with challenging clients/situations. Sound good?
“Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].” ~ Colossians 3:14
“For we are God’s fellow workers [His servants working together]; you are God’s cultivated field [His garden, His vineyard], God’s building.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:9
“Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace [each individual working together to make the whole successful].” ~ Ephesians 4:3
“Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ]. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves.” ~ Philippians 2:2-3
“Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” [and there is an opportunity], so that none of you will be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication].” ~ Hebrews 3:13
Not surprisingly, the Bible has much to say about community and relationships.
Case and point: While I was stitching this six-pack together, there were still 8-10 more verses I wanted to add but couldn’t due to length and reference strategy. Honestly, the Word is just that rich on the matter.
Still, while many can agree to the principles of these passages, the struggle to stay consistent in them is worth discussion. Ideally, these absolutes reflect unconditionally regardless of setting; however, if we’re honest with ourselves, how we live with our church family and inner circle often contrasts how we work with colleagues and clients. Why is that?
For starters, I believe many of us compartmentalize who we do mission with because we’ve lost sight on what mission is altogether. Why do we do anything at the end of the day? Is it to hit our bottom lines? To feel fulfilled, meaningful…to belong? Or is it with the heartcry of as in heaven, so on earth (Matthew 6:10)? As in heaven, so in my office? As in heaven, so with my clients entrusted in my care? As in heaven, so with the team I get to serve alongside with? I could go on.
In fewer words, we rank, compare, and categorize any time we detach Kingdom from our uniqueness and calling. And while a closer examination of this point will take place in ‘Part 3’, for now…
- Consider the temptation to tier off relationships based on the nature of individual connections over corporate identity.
- Rely on the Spirit as you make God’s joy complete from one to all, in big or small.
- Encourage colleagues/clients with the intent to build them up as God builds you up.
After all, we’re all co-laborers and co-ambassadors called to be co-dependent on God. As much as we love the ‘go’, we can’t get anywhere without the ‘co’.
Again, more on this in future posts.
Enduring Challenges with Confidence
“Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” ~ Hebrews 12:3
“Let no one deceive you with empty arguments [that encourage you to sin], for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience [those who habitually sin].” ~ Ephesians 5:6
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” ~ 1 Peter 2:4-10
“Tell them these things. Encourage and rebuke with full authority. Let no one disregard or despise you [conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect].” ~ Titus 2:15
While this one hits home and is borderline “too soon“, I can’t resist this palate cleanser of a series. In essence, Christ is the supreme relator to what we’re going through (Hebrews 4:16) and can be trusted in times of suffering since He set the ultimate precedent through the Cross. As long as we’re working as blameless ambassadors, there’s no shame to those in Christ and are rejected accordingly. Yes, mistakes will happen and yes, these miscues aren’t necessarily safeguarded by your ‘loved by Christ’ identity. Even outside matters of morality, we are a people who have fallen short; however, this doesn’t have to a source of disappointment. If anything, this should be the opposite, specifically an invitation to see the Rock of offense as the reason we forsake offense.
Again, this goes back to the turned cheek principle. When you consider how Jesus kept the Cross before Him, we can sympathize, empathize, and most importantly, pray for those who hurt, slander, even persecute us. Granted, this doesn’t save us from bad days when we’re wrestling to cope. It just means when we lack the strength to stand, we can rest in the arms of God, our living stone, the epitome of steadiness and steadfastness who happens to be the reason we live.
After all, we’re not only called as a royal priesthood but as fellow constants and faithful stewards declaring light in a darkening world. If we want to make a difference, why not start by extending grace and understanding to those craving refuge…and don’t even realize they do?
Cover photo creds: Scottsbluff Bible Church